Obiwanne Okeke also known as Invictus Obi is a Forbes-rated young Nigerian billionaire who has been arrested by America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following a high tech investigation for $12 million (N4.3bn) wire fraud.
Obinwanne Okeke (Invictus Obi) was arrested last week on the last day of his trip to the United States for allegedly defrauding top American companies of huge sum of money. Notably, he allegedly scammed a steel company $12m after hacking into an executive’s office365 account and sending an email with a fake invoice to the purchase department. His arrest came after Special Agent Marshall Ward of the FBI and the team he heads opened up an investigation in July 2018, following a petition by the company, Unatrac Holding Limited.
Excerpt from the 44 charge sheet reads;
“In June 2018, Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment, headquartered in the United Kingdom, contacted the FBI. They reported that Unatrac had been victimised through an email compromise, which ultimately resulted in fraudulent wire transfers totalling nearly 11million US Dollars. After reviewing the documentation provided by the representatives, the FBI opened an investigation in July 2018.
“The FBI discovered that after capturing the legitimate credentials of Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer, the accused was able to log in and access the CFO’s entire Office365 account, which included all of his emails and various digital files, the logs indicated that between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s account 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from Nigeria.
“With full access to the account, the intruder sent fraudulent wire transfer requests from the CFO’s email account to members of Unatrac’s internal financial team. The intruder also attached fake invoices to the emails to enhance the credibility of the requests,” the investigator stated. The investigation, painstaking and far-reaching, lasted more than a year during which Obinwanne emerged as the principal culprit and has since been arrested while on his regular visit to the United States.”
Obiwanne Okeke (Invictus Obi) before his arrest
Mr. Okeke holds a master’s degree in International Relations and counter-terrorism from Monash University Australia.
Obinwanne was a well celebrated businessman whose story was one of ‘grass to grace’ as shared on Forbes. He is the 17th child of a polygamous father who died when he was 16, after which he reportedly moved from one relative to another before moving to Australia where he “did all kinds of jobs just to survive.”
He accepted an offer to be a Contributor for Forbes Magazine and published his first essay in May 2017.
Obiwanne Okeke’s company
He founded the Invictus Group of Companies, an investment conglomerate dealing in construction, agriculture, oil and gas, renewable energy, telecoms, and real estate. Invictus Group operates in three African countries, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia. His company was named as Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year by African Brand Congress in 2017.
He named his company after William Ernest Henley’s popular Invictus poem about an undefeated and unconquerable hard worker from an impoverished background who refused to give up as that was quite similar to his story.
He also founded Literacy Africa International to raise “awareness about literacy problem among children in Africa.” He also sourced for donors of used children books across Australia and shipped them to disadvantaged kids across Africa.
Obiwanne prestigious awards
Invictus Obi became highly celebrated after he got featured in ‘Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30’ list in 2016.
The same year, Obinwanne was nominated in the Young African Business Leader (West Africa) category for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards ( AABLA). In 2018, he was nominated amongst 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians by Avance Media.
He was listed among 100 Most Influential Young Africans in 2018 alongside Davido, Falz, Ahmed Musa.
Obi who is married recently had a baby last month. He always said his mother was a huge source of inspiration to him and one of his greatest achievement is being able to buy her a house.